The Management of North Korean Materials in South Korean Libraries

“Knowledge is power.” There are no truer words in academia. Yet what happens when knowledge is limited, not just to a select few, but altogether? That is the situation when researching North Korea in South Korea. Researchers face a dearth of information about their chosen topic, whether it be music or military. There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being that North Korea does not easily let information about itself outside its borders. In South Korea, however, there is an added barrier to researching North Korea: the National Intelligence Service’s 특수자료 취급지침, or the “Guidelines for Handling Special Materials” (from here on, referred to as the Guidelines). Most English-speaking

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